Houndlord (3.5e Class)
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Lord of the hounds, you command a swarm of dogs or wolves to attack others at your command. 20 0 Good Good Poor Good Prepared Divine Spellcasting Minor
The hounds bay for blood, and you are their alpha bringing them upon the hunt. You have taken your affinity with animals on the battlefield and turned yourself into a one-man party, with more focus on the animal companion than a typical ranger but with quantity over quality.
Making a Houndlord
Abilities: Charisma fuels your spellcasting and interactions with your hounds, but you cannot rely on them alone. Outside of your dog swarm, you are still a mundane combatant and must choose between Strength for melee, Dexterity for range, and Constitution to survive.
Starting Gold: 5d4×10 gp (125 gp).
|Saving Throws||Special||Spells per Day|
|1st||+1||+2||+0||+2||Mark Quarry 1/day, Pact of the Hound (1), Threat Advantage, Wild Empathy||—||—||—||—|
|2nd||+2||+3||+0||+3||Training Feat, Vet Care||—||—||—||—|
|3rd||+3||+3||+1||+3||Expert Tracker, Intimidating Hounds||—||—||—||—|
|5th||+5||+4||+1||+4||Mark Quarry 2/day, Training Feat||0||—||—||—|
|6th||+6||+5||+2||+5||Pact of the Hound (2)||1||—||—||—|
|10th||+10||+7||+3||+7||Mark Quarry 3/day||1||1||—||—|
|11th||+11||+7||+3||+7||Pact of the Hound (3), Training Feat||1||1||0||—|
|15th||+15||+9||+5||+9||Mark Quarry 4/day||2||1||1||0|
|16th||+16||+10||+5||+10||Pact of the Hound (4)||2||2||1||1|
|19th||+19||+11||+6||+11||Ghost of the Master||3||3||3||2|
|20th||+20||+12||+6||+12||Eternal Hunt, Mark Quarry 5/day, Training Feat||3||3||3||3|
Class Skills (6 + Int modifier per level, ×4 at 1st level)
All of the following are class features of the Houndlord.
Weapon and Armor Proficiency: A houndlord is proficient with all simple weapons, martial weapons, and the net and whip. They are proficent in light and medium armor, and with shields (except tower shields).
Mark Quarry (Su): The houndlord can mark any target creature or object within 60 ft as quarry as a swift action 1/day. Those marked as quarry are treated as giving off a strong scent that your hounds from Pact of the Hound can detect (even if they lack Scent for any reason) or anyone else with the Scent ability, and your hounds gain +2 attack, damage, saves, and opposed ability and skill checks against marked targets. Mark Quarry lasts for 24 hours, until the user actively changes their scent such as taking a bath, or you end it as a free action. You gain an additional use per day at 5th and every five levels beyond.
Pact of the Hound (Su): Houndlords learn to create a focus component which they use to protect their precious companions, often an amulet or ring or rod called the Pact Symbol. It acts as a sort of phylactery for their companions. They may bind to and gain the services of one dog, riding dog, or wolf who will act as their hound. This is similar to an animal companion or a familiar. Your hound retains its own hp or 1/2 of your own and your base saves and skill ranks, whichever is greater. It counts as possessing your HD, and gains further augmentations as seen on the chart Pact of the Hounds below. The greatest benefit is that if your hound perishes its body vanishes in a puff of smoke and joins the pact symbol, from which it shall naturally revive itself after 1d4 days.
Originally you may only have one hound, but at 6th, 11th, and 16th level you gain the services of another hound under your command. The pact of the hound counts as a divine holy symbol and druidic focus, as it is believed to originally stood for an ancient pact between men and a now forgotten god of the hunt.
Threat Advantage (Ex): The houndlord has allies, and knows how to take advantage of that fact. Whenever flanking with an ally of any sort, or whenever one of his hounds is merely threatening a target, the houndlord gains their 2 + 1/2 their class level as a bonus on damage against the target. This damage is precision damage and is negated by effects which negate critical hits and sneak attacks. In addition for every hound threatening the target past the first, the damage increases by +2 (to +8 at level 16th).
Training Feat: The 2nd level houndlord can choose any [Fighter] feat he or his hounds would qualify for and teach it to his hound. All hounds from Pact of the Hound gain this feat as a bonus feat even if only one of them would qualify for it. With 1 week of training the houndlord can choose to switch out these bonus feats for new ones. They have one feat at 2nd, one at 5th, and one every three levels beyond (8th, 11th, etc).
Vet Care (Ex): A houndlord must be able to care for his animals. At 2nd level he can make a touch attack against any creature of the [Animal] or [Magical Beast] type have them benefit from resting overnight (typically 1 hp per HD and 1 ability damage). This is a 1 round action that provokes attacks of opportunity. Alternatively they can engage in longer care over the course of 15 minutes and recover 5 times this amount. Either way each creature can only benefit from this type of healing once per day.
Expert Tracker (Ex): The 3rd level houndlord and all of his hounds gain the Track feat as a bonus feat. For each hound used in the effort to track a creature, the houndlord gains a +2 bonus on their Survival check.
Intimidating Hounds (Ex): At 3rd level the baying of the houndlord's dogs keeps anyone at bay. As long as a hound is present the houndlord may intimidate creatures up to 60 ft away, and does so with a +2 bonus for every hound they have within 60 ft of the houndlord.
Spells: Beginning at 4th level, a houndlord gains the ability to cast a small number of divine spells, which are drawn from the houndlord spell list. A houndlord prepares and casts spells like a ranger. To cast a spell, a houndlord must have a Charisma score equal to at least 10 + the spell level. The Difficulty Class for a saving throw against a houndlord's spell is 10 + the spell level + the houndlord's Charisma modifier.
Like other spellcasters, a houndlord can cast only a certain number of spells of each spell level per day. His base daily spell allotment is given on Table: The Houndlord. In addition, he receives bonus spells per day if he has a high Charisma score. When Table: The Houndlord indicates that the houndlord gets 0 spells per day of a given spell level, he gains only the bonus spells he would be entitled to based on his Charisma score for that spell level.
Through 3rd level, a houndlord has no caster level. At 4th level and higher, his caster level is equal to his houndlord level. Choose from the spells below:
1st—accelerated movementSpC, alarm, animal messenger, aspect of the wolfSpC, augment familiarSpC, bloodhoundSpC, calm animals, camouflageSpC, charm animal, climb wallsSpC, crabwalkSpC, dawnSpC, deep breathSpC, delay poison, detect poison, detect snares and pits, easy trailSpC, embrace the wildSpC, enrage animalSpC, endure elements, enlarge person, familiar pocketSpC, forestfoldSpC, healing lorecallSpC, hide from animals, horrible tasteSpC, instant searchSpC, jump, lay of the landSpC, lightfootSpC, living printsSpC, longstrider, low-light visionSpC, magic fang, marked objectSpC, naturewatchSpC, omen of perilSpC, pass without trace, rapid burrowingSpC, read magic, reduce person, remove scentSpC, resist energy, rhino's rushSpC, scentSpC, smell of fearSpC, speak with animals, snowshoesSpC, stalking brandSpC, surefootSpC, surefooted strideSpC, traveler's mountSpC.
2nd—align fangSpC, balancing lorecallSpC, barkskin, bear's endurance, bull's strength, burrowSpC, cat's grace, cure light wounds, curse of impending bladesSpC, easy climbSpC, enhance familiarSpC, fell the greatest foeSpC, hold animal, jagged toothSpC, listening lorecallSpC, mass cameoflageSpC, nature's favorSpC, one with the landSpC, owl's wisdom, protection from energy, reduce animal, snare, spike growth, swift hasteSpC, train animalSpC, tremorsenseSpC, wind at backSpC.
3rd—cure moderate wounds, darkvision, decoy imageSpC, find the gapSpC, fortify familiarSpC, greater magic fang, heal animal companionSpC, mass align fangSpC, mass burrowSpC, mass curse of impending bladesSpC, mass snowshoesSpC, neutralize poison, safe clearingSpC.
Evasion (Ex): At 9th level, a houndlord can avoid even magical and unusual attacks with great agility. If he makes a successful Reflex saving throw against an attack that normally deals half damage on a successful save, he instead takes no damage. Evasion can be used only if the houndlord is wearing light armor or no armor. A helpless houndlord does not gain the benefit of evasion.
Revive Companion (Sp): If a houndlord's hound dies, they will return in a few days but at times this simply cannot wait. At 12th level and beyond once per day the houndlord can duplicate the effects of resurrection on his hounds or any familiar or animal companion. This takes 10 minutes, and if it is not one of the houndlord's hounds it requires 1000 gp in diamond dust.
Cursed Quarry (Su): At 13th level if a houndlord hits a creature with Mark Quarry and the creature escapes, or perhaps was never in combat to begin within, 1 minute after they were marked the houndlord can force them to make a Will save DC 10 + 1/2 HD + your Wisdom modifier. If they fail they become cursed, and your mark quarry ability becomes permanent duration. Your hounds have status against the individual. At any time as a standard action you can toggle the effect of curse of cacophonous chorus to haunt them at any range, and they feel as if they are being pursued by your hounds regardless if this is true or not. If used in conjunction with Intimidating Hounds you can intimidate the cursed creature out to as far as they can hear you and your hounds.
You can use this once per day, and you can only have one cursed quarry at any single time. While not a spell, it is considered a curse that can only be lifted by break enchantment and stronger magic.
Certain Tracking (Sp): Once per day the 18th level houndlord can always succeed on a single tracking attempt, no matter how old or faded the tracks are. The tracks are illuminated to them as if they were freshly made mere moments ago. This effect lasts for 1 hour/level or until the tracked creature or object is discovered. Not even mind blank or hide the path can obscure this, though deific intervention or the path not actually existing foils it.
Ghost of the Master: If the 19th level houndlord dies, their spirit lives on. Literally. Within any of their remaining hounds, the houndlord's spirit and intelligence resides. While limited to the skills and abilities of the hound they can attempt to communicate or act as they see fit. If this hound too perishes, they move onto the next until they run out of hounds. This means as long as one of their hounds exists and lives, they are immune to effects which steal souls. The hound counts as part of their body for the purpose of revival attempts, and if they are unlucky they can persist in this state until their natural lifespan runs out.
Eternal Hunt: At 20th level the houndlord's dogs never give up the hunt. The respawn time for their hounds to return is now 10 minutes. The houndlord and their dogs do not need to eat or sleep and they can march endlessly with no fear of fatigue, exhaustion, or nonlethal damage.
Pact of the Hounds
| Natural Armor
|1st-2nd||+0||+1||Alertness, Bonus Trick, Empathic Link, Improved Evasion|
|3rd-4th||+2||+2||Bonus Trick, Master's Will|
|7th-8th||+4||+4||Bonus Trick, Master's Call|
|13th-14th||+6||+7||Scry on Companion|
|15th-16th||+8||+8||Bonus Trick, Improved Devotion|
Hounds count as animal companions and familiars for the purpose of interacting with feats and abilities. They have their own hp or 1/2 their master's hp, and count their HD as their masters. They also gain their master's base saves and skill ranks, using their own modifiers. While they soon fall behind in combat potential on account of not scaling their base attack bonus, their strength and dexterity as well as their natural armor continues to increase. Many act as harassment, keeping pressure on targets as the houndlord moves in to attack.
Bonus Trick: The hounds gain an additional trick beyond the normal limit of tricks they can learn.
Empathic Link (Su): The master has an empathic link with his hound out to a distance of up to 1 mile. The master cannot see through the hounds’s eyes, but they can communicate empathically. Because of the limited nature of the link, only general emotional content can be communicated. Because of this empathic link, the master has the same connection to an item or place that his hound does.
Improved Evasion (Ex): When subjected to an attack that normally allows a Reflex saving throw for half damage, a hound takes no damage if it makes a successful saving throw and half damage even if the saving throw fails.
Master's Will (Ex): Without even a word, a hound can understand their master and shares their desires and motivations. As long as the hound has line of sight, the houndlord effectively has telepathy with his hounds. Even without it, they understand the nature of his desires and can perform tasks and commands more complicated than a standard animal thought they remain of limited intellect in performing this desire.
Share Spells (Ex): The houndlord may cast a spell with a target of “you” on his hound (as a spell with a range of touch) instead of on himself. A houndlord may cast spells on his hound even if the spells normally do not affect creatures of the hound's type such as enlarge person. Spells cast in this way must come from the houndmaster's spell list. This ability does not allow the houndlord to share abilities that are not spells, even if they function like spells. If the master has more than one hound, they can apply the spell to all hounds in range with the same casting.
Master's Call (Ex): No matter the distance the hounds can hear their master calling their name or commands. The distance of empathic link and master's will is now unlimited, though he can only send commands and speech and not vice versa, even with Communication Bond.
Improved Devotion (Ex): A hound becomes immune to any charm or compulsion that goes against their master's wishes.
Loyal Sacrifice: As an immediate action as long as a hound is within one move action of their master, they can fling themselves in the way of a single attack or weapon-like spell. The effect is negated, but is inevitably fatal for the poor loyal hound who perishes from the effect. This death does not cause them to respawn as normal either, not even with Eternal Hunt, but they can be revived for 1000 gp by Revive Companion as if they were a normal animal companion.
Human Houndlord Starting Package
Skill Selection: Pick a number of skills equal to 7 + Int modifier.
Feat: Power Attack.
Bonus Feats: Combat Reflexes.
Gear: Chain Shirt.
Gold: 15 gp.
Playing a Houndlord
Religion: Rumor has it that long ago houndlords were the religion servants of a god of the hunt whose name has been lost to history. The houndlords still carry the mysterious deity's symbol to this day as a charm to keep their best friends alive, yet none can remember who the god is.
Other Classes: You are the rogue's best friend, having anywhere between two and five flank buddies. Melee likes you are well since your dogs, while weak, are an ever persistent threat nipping at the buds of their heels. Just don't have them get in the way of tactical positioning.
Combat: You send in the dogs and take on a supporting, or main offensive, roll. Ranged attacks are an option as your precision damage need not rely on flanking (at least not with your hounds). Melee can take advantage of their trip abilities.
Advancement: Classes which augment, require, or deal with familiars and animal companions can work on the houndlord.
Houndlords in the World
|“||Release the hounds of war!||”|
|—The Black Hound, Orc Houndlord|
Daily Life: You love animals and you love dogs. You are known as the animal loving guy whose dogs always seem well fed for strange and obscure reasons.
Organizations: Houndlords are sometimes hired as guards who keep a kennel of dogs patrolling their territory.
NPC Reactions: Dogs can be scary and so are you. Let's hope you are their best friend.
Characters with ranks in Knowledge Nature can research Houndlords to learn more about them. When a character makes a skill check, read or paraphrase the following, including information from lower DCs.
|10||Houndlords are master of the dog, riding dog, and wolf. They fight in battle along their faithful companion under the protection of the god of the hunt.|
|15||Houndlords can master and control more than one hound at a time, and teach them advanced tricks and abilities one would expect from a human.|
|20||Powerful houndlords are protected by their loyal hounds at all times, and can track anyone anywhere at anytime.|
|30||Those that reach this level of success can research specific houndlords, their animals, their motives, deeds, and other details.|
Houndlords in the Game
Adaptation: It need not be dogs. Any CR 1 or less animal may fit the bill.
|Article Balance||Moderate +|
|Base Attack Bonus Progression||Good +|
|Class Ability||Prepared Divine Spellcasting +|
|Class Ability Progression||Minor +|
|Fortitude Save Progression||Good +|
|Identifier||3.5e Class +|
|Minimum Level||0 +|
|Reflex Save Progression||Poor +|
|Skill||Balance +, Climb +, Concentration +, Craft +, Diplomacy +, Gather Information +, Handle Animal +, Heal +, Hide +, Intimidate +, Jump +, Knowledge +, Listen +, Move Silently +, Perform +, Profession +, Ride +, Search +, Sense Motive +, Sleight of Hand +, Spot +, Survival +, Swim +, Tumble + and Use Rope +|
|Skill Points||6 +|
|Summary||Lord of the hounds, you command a swarm of dogs or wolves to attack others at your command. +|
|Will Save Progression||Good +|